Entrepreneurship, start-ups, funding, and unicorns- these are buzz words of the era. And I hate it as much as I hate the other buzz words; YOLO, FOMO, Totes. And I am not a baby boomer (which means someone born between 1946-64 and has nothing to do with a kid version of a strawberry chewing gum) to start something with a nasty statement. I am an early millennial & have built a business; which makes me qualified to write a piece on the topic and crib about it at the same time.
Don’t be mistaken, I am a big fan of these times. It almost seems like there is no teen or adult who doesn’t yearn to have their own business, integrating tech into something, with them wanting to pose on the cover of a business magazine. The great Indian dream is no more a job in an MNC, a car and a 2BHK. IT’s THIS.
So if the title attracted you to read this because you are both a millennial and an aspiring entrepreneur, let’s get to the point. I am citing 5 entrepreneurial skills (because ‘listicles’ are yet another buzzword) a millennial or a post-millennial needs to build something amazing
“An entrepreneur’s key KRA is ‘Solve Problems’ a.k.a ‘Douse Fire’
Businesses solve people’s problems. So it’s imperative for every budding entrepreneur to move from their high-chair and get close to the market you are serving. So if you are on the verge of creating the next sustainable fashion start-up with raw material sourced from villages, you better have an understanding of what the producers of your raw material are like. Don’t be stuck on a piece of tech or insight because you believe it, stick to it because you know your customers do. Nurture a team, be cognizant of the team’s need. Take care of their careers and they will take care of your work. It’s pretty much a basic for survival. Growth & Cover Pages is season 2.
2. Sense of urgency
Do it ‘Yesterday’ is the motto.
Like it or not, we live in a fast world. Your great idea will be replicated and scaled up in a matter of nano seconds by the competition and you would be left wondering what hit you. ‘Do it yesterday’ is not equivalent to ‘Be Hasty’. Back your gut, find some data to ratify your hypothesis, test it, develop it… do all the steps. Just do it faster.
The below is my hack sheet to get things done faster. My personal favorite is to ‘templatise things’. Innovation/Improvement are great but it has its limitation. After a point of time, no amount of innovation justifies the miniscule returns. The moment your process reach that stage, templatise and immortalize it.
3. Respect for time
“The agenda of today’s meeting is to decide when to meet next?”
Time Management is more than arriving at the meeting on time. It’s the skill of deciding whether you need a meeting to start with. Time management is not just about utilizing your time, it’s also about not over-investing in a task. And once you decide to invest time in something, stick to it. It is essential for everyone to develop a respect for time. Drop the “let’s be late because everyone will be anyway” attitude. Reach on time, start on time and stick to time.
Here’s my hack sheet for saving time. My favorite, saying NO. It’s easy and feels damn good.
“Don’t pay heed to your Instagram feed, because no one’s posting their failures.” – Anonymous or some Instagram Motivational Guru
There will always be someone doing better. Or someone faking that. Focus on your game. Are you better than yesterday? Is your business better than yesterday? That’s all you need to focus on. A goal is great, greed is not.
And if after all this, you succeed, stay humble. Entrepreneurship is an interesting journey, it’s like the 2019 Cricket World Cup Finals played between England & NZ. NZ did everything right, brought the match to a draw, there was a draw in the super over and then they lost to an ‘interesting’ rule. So stay humble. Stay grounded. Be grateful for what you got, invest in people and respect the opponent. No never know what’s coming your way.
Yes there is a 6th point in a 5 pointer listicle. Underpromise-Overdeliver. A delight at the result stage is way better than excitement at the deal stage.